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COVID effect – cybersecurity


It closes the set of publications about the effects of COVID-19 in the digitalization of markets, an opportunity in which the impacts in different sectors were discussed.

Closing the set of publications about the effects of COVID-19 in the digitalization of markets, an opportunity in which the impacts on different sectors of the national economy were discussed, with a focus on this text on cyber security, an issue that covers public agencies, companies, service providers and citizens, recognizing that everyday habits, work and business management are undergoing profound changes, so that the pandemic is materialized as a turning point.

Protection of systems, connections and data, adjustments to digital protection rules and protocols, use of virtual private networks (VPN), monitoring of intrusion attempts, blocking download of files from the cloud, use of applications without proven security, good guidelines practices, among others, are elements that were evidenced by the impacts of COVID-19, that is, of this entry into the digital world in real time, moving, in many cases, without prior detailed planning of the secure corporate environment for remote work.

But, this discussion is not recent. Report of the World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report 2020, in the thematic panorama associated with technological risks identified in order of importance: cyber attacks; breach of information infrastructure; fraud or theft of data; and unfavorable technological advances; with a percentage of growth expected in the short term by respondents in the first category corresponding to 76.1%, including these risks among those with the greatest impacts in the next ten years, thus demonstrating the importance of organizing a global governance structure in this area in order to reduce the impacts of cyber attacks.

Other studies, prior to the pandemic, showed that approximately 60% of global companies were experiencing an increasing number of cyber attacks in the 12 months preceding the March 2020 survey (Global Information Security Survey); 67% of UK health organizations were hit in 2019 by some cybersecurity incident, of which approximately 48% occurred as a result of the introduction of viruses or malware from third-party devices, IoT or pen drives (Clearswift).

The massive migration of operations to the home office mode draws attention to vulnerabilities, such as the absence of information security systems, lack of adequate training for the use of networks, not so assertive emergency planning, among others that increase cyber exposure.

Data on this scenario are relevant: a study with a thousand companies revealed that 46% of them had suffered at least one cybersecurity incident since the start of the social distance measures and more than half pointed to an increase in the number of e-mail pishing attacks ( IT Barracuda Networks); the World Health Organization reported that only in the week of April 20, about 450 e-mail addresses and passwords of users of the institution were released on the internet, along with thousands of other data related to professionals who work to combat the dissemination of the new coronavirus, which represented an increase of five times in the number of cyber attacks compared to the same interval of the previous year.

It is, therefore, urgent to reinforce and consolidate cyber security protocols at a time of increased vulnerabilities, adjusting the priorities of IT projects, strategic planning, good practices for new routines, in addition to initiatives that prepare the markets for a different reality when the crisis to pass, particularly when observing the tendency of segments to maintain, after overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, the home office modality, together with the increase in e-commerce transactions and other businesses on the internet, in a joint and collaborative effort of governance architecture in this area, which directly contributes to the perception of market and user confidence.

By: Wilson Sales Belchior


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